First a Disclosure. I will answer absolutely anything with the exception of my location and who I work for. (Which should be reasonable.)

Second For Proof, my cell phone is being a bastard right now and won't charge but I get off work at 2:30pm EST today and I will promptly go home make a sandwhich and post a copy of my Virginia Car Sales License.

Proof edit: Here are shitty camera phone pics of my license & business card I took a little while ago

Now onto the AMA. I work for a larger trusted Dealership we have Around 10 different lots, Over 15 Franchises Including (but not limited to). Ford, Toyota, Fiat, Polaris, Kawasaki, Scion, Mazda, Fiat, Kia, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & More.

Also I am a Certified Mazda Sales Person as that Is where I started. And I am a Floor Manager of Pre-Owned. I'll be glad to answer questions about cars, car salespeople, the car sales process, financing, purchasing, or myself in general.

I Am currently at work so I will be answering questions all day long everytime I get a chance. So Just load them up and I'll do my best.

Lastly Allow me to plug /r/mazda where I commonly help out and also I started a sub some while ago that never caught wind and I'd like help to find out how it could if at all possible and from other car salespeople alike. It would be /r/askcarsales . Outside of that Thanks Reddit for always being entertaining and great I just wish Imgur was unblocked on my work computer!

oh and yes, Cooking is my main hobby, I fucking love it.

Ninja Edit: A huge reason I am doing this today is because of the Front Page post yesterday from /r/bestof that was out of /r/frugal in relation to new & used vehicles.

Edit: Hey guys I am taking Mazda Tests I'll be answering a few questions every time I get done with one.

Edit: 2pm EST Hey Guys I am still answering questions and have had some great help here too, I'll be off work shortly and try to zoom-zoom through several of these. I've been checking them periodically and there are a lot of good ones I really want to give an answer too! Be back shortly and keep em' coming.

Edit: Hey everyone I am home, I am going to go cook something dope as fuck and then I'll return to answer questions!

Edit: Hey everyone I am still here a day later answering questions. Once this gets buried don't forget about /r/askcarsales !! thanks everyone.

Comments: 772 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

fidiba70 karma

If I would buy a used car, what are the best questions to ask to the salesman?


Does it have a warranty? Do you have a car fax?

beefsupreme39 karma

Great advice but you can't tell what is currently wrong with the car with the car fax. The BEST question is, "Do you mind if I have my mechanic take a look at it first."


Absolutely that as well! The reason i suggest a carfax is several reasons.

  1. To know how many owners or if it was a lease or loaner car.

  2. To make sure it hasn't had any wreck/body damage/flood damage or a salvage title.

  3. To see if it has been serviced regularly and you can tell what (if any) major engine components have been replaced.

  4. Prove that no odometer has been rolled-back.

  5. Just to say Show me the Car-Fax

kindabiglie90 karma

Just to say Show me the Car-Fax

Nice try, Car-Fax salesman.

SgtStretch7 karma

Carfax can be useful, if its actually correct. I've bought 2 cars taht had clean carfax reports and later down the road I find out they've both been in accidents. One of the cars had the entire passenger side of the car repainted.

I only found out because I got rear ended and the body shop told me because paint matching wasn't consistent because the car wasn't identical colors. It was close enough so that I couldn't tell but they could tell.


It can take up to 6-9 months for something to show up on a car-fax

Mariokartfever64 karma


Car salesman, huh?


Yes, 2 and 1/2 years. And still going.

I-missed-the-point45 karma

Could I trade you some premium swamp land for a used Mazda?


I would accept this.

kevin1104043 karma



I solved a rubiks cube for a customer. And one time as a joke I put a picture of a baby on my desk in a frame, my manager wasn't too happy about that one, then I got a customer, forgot about the framed picture and she ended up buying a car and asking about the baby. I couldn't help but to respond yes that is my baby, and then cringe. Somehow I played it off, made up a key & peele name for the baby and the whole 9 yards. RIP Baby Picture

kevin1104039 karma



I had a 5 grand deal on a brand new Specialty Laramie Truck. Specialty vehicles can have dealer profits of anywhere from 5k - 20k.

Trollolocalypse50 karma

DCJ salesman here, I make 10k on every Viper I sell. Although, just so everyone knows he is talking about the dealership's profit and not his own profit. There is no way he could possibly make $5,000 on one truck. The profit margin isn't that large. Salesmen make anywhere from 15-25% commission on sales. So, in order to make $5,000 the dealership would've had to make at least $20,000 which is 100% impossible. Markup is never that high. I could provide an invoice showing you guys how much money is really being made on cars if there is any interest.


The above is correct come join me and help get expose for /r/askcarsales

raging_asshole19 karma

So the car salesman only makes a percentage of the profit?

Meaning that if they have to drop the price to near-cost or minimum resale, they get little to no pay from the sale?

And are they typically paid by commission only, or is it common to expect some kind of hourly or salary, plus commission?

JeffTheLess25 karma

Chevy sales here, though only in the business for half a year. It is common for dealerships to have a minimum commission on a deal or "Mini", if the mini is larger than your percent commission on a deal you get the mini instead. My mini is a little over $100, so if a deal is going to make less than $500 for the dealership, the dealership could be losing money for all I care, my cut is the same. Though in general, managers don't let losing money deals happen.

Also you make an hourly rate of minimum wage up to 40 hours a week, but only if that amount is higher than your comission earned from that same week.

At least the above is how my dealership handles things, could be I'm being screwed.


Nope the above is correct. Come join me and help get exposure for /r/askcarsales

lonjaxson32 karma

I hope you're not a dick to your lot attendant(s). Most of the salespeople at the dealership I worked at were complete assholes (and perverts).


Well I can't say that we don't talk between ourselves every time a fine lady walks on the lot.

rildchaper998831 karma

Whats the biggest mistake people make when buying a new or used car?


I want to say getting emotionally attached before working numbers. But I know there are plenty more than just that.

zswagz29 karma

How would I get the lowest price possible on a vehicle?


On a new vehicle you would have to know the invoice price of it and would have to know all the available incentives. That is the only way to insure a dealer will make a 0$ profit, which they have no problem doing to make a unit move. And if it's an old old old unit/demo they may be willing to sell it at a loss to make it go away as it fines the managers for having it.

On a used car that is a little more difficult to describe.

itookyourjob26 karma

What is the best season/month to buy a car? Worst? Also, whats the best method of haggling a good price?


January and on for last years models, incentives are hella high. Worst? right when a vehicle releases. No incentives, dealers can charge over sticker price because "everyone" wants this car.

PyroZach19 karma

I'm looking for a new(er) truck right now. Found one I like but they don't seem to want to give me a fair trade in. I looked at both KBB and edmunds. Suggested trade in on my suv is around 5k, private sale around 6,500 dealer retail around 7k. The truck I'm looking at has a trade in of around 7k, private around 9, and dealer around 10k

They're asking 10,800 on the truck and only want to give me 2,500 for the trade in. All my suv would need is a detail and maybe a muffler. It looks like he has A LOT of room for profit on this based on the numbers I found. Am I missing something? am I being swindled? or should I just give up on this trade in/truck and keep looking?


Don't give up, make an offer and make it final. Say exactly what you want to happen and don't make it unreasonable. Say no negotiations, one offer and if you can't make it happen you will continue shopping. Say 10k for the truck and 4k for your trade or how ever you want. They say no, no hard feelings turn around and walk away, see if they go running after you.

clearsimpleplain44 karma



For sex or for a sale?

InformedIgnorance35 karma

Standard car salesman response.

zhiryst3 karma

Still waiting for an answer to both


For sex, I have ran to my car and driven quite a ways once they show immense interest, take my cell phone number, start texting me and telling me to come over. For a sale? Eh... 15 feet.

fuges2117 karma

Let's say I have gone through all of college and Pharmacy school without a car. I have about 8 grand saved up and need to buy a car for my upcoming year of rotations. What would you recommend? Should I look at car lots? Or maybe buy from someone selling a car personally? Any make/model I should look at? Thanks!!


If you just graduated within the last 6 months you qualify for a first time buyers/graduate program through most Automakers, This ensures you won't get fucked on an interest rate on your first vehicle because you have a 0 credit score.

Also if you have 8 grand down you can get anything you want but set a budget for yourself. Try to get within a payment that you can feel safe with for only 4 years, by stretching terms (which salespeople will commonly go to in order to get someone in a payment range and maximize profits) you just put yourself under the gun for further un-needed interest charges. And don't put all 8 grand down, 5 should be plenty to put you in a positive equity situation for several years down the road.

this_is_not_the_cia15 karma

I have a question for you. I recently traded in a 2007 Subaru impreza wrx sti limited for a 2013 Ford Escape. The dealership gave me $22k for the subaru and I only had to pay $11.6k on top of that for the escape. About four years ago, I was involved in an accident in the Subaru resulting in $17k of damage. There was no damage to the frame, and the only thing that had to be done to it was to put the car on the frame stretching/alignment machine. The dealership ran a carfax on my car before they agreed to purchase it, and they knew of the accident. There was no salvage title on the car. The insurance adjuster confirmed that there was no frame damage. I traded them the car and drove off in the Ford. A few days later, I got a call from the dealership accusing me of "misrepresenting" the condition of the car, and that they now want to reverse the deal. The dealership told me to return the ford, and that they cant sell the subaru in its current condition. They say the car has substantial frame damage and that I lied when I said it didnt. I contacted an attorney and they said that the dealership has no case. What do you think?


I would sue them.

scottevil11014 karma

1) Obviously this is going to vary from person to person, but do you ever knowingly sell someone on a car that you know they really shouldn't be trying to pay for? If so, do you feel any guilt, or do you figure that it's their responsibility to know what they can and can't handle as far as a payment goes?

2) When someone walks in already having done all their homework, worked out the math, all that jazz, are you happy because your job is far easier and you know there's a better chance of them buying, or are you disappointed because it means you may not get as good of a profit margin out of them?


1) Yes I have before, Car Sales managers are on our dicks about selling vehicles and I've personally bumped someone $200+ in payment before over what they were comfortable with when they came in. Although most of these people really need a car and a lot of people can't get them done because of bad credit history.

2) It makes things more difficult on a used vehicle perspective but very easy on a new vehicle perspective. Regardless if I sell a vehicle for a $1 profit I still make $100 and it still counts as a unit out for me. Profit means nothing if you can't sell vehicles. It's about quantity not the quality of each profit.

HoneyBadger9312 karma

Nicest car you've sold? Used or new.


F-150 Raptor SVT, I love them. I want one, it should be the international apocalypse vehicle.

TFDDx16 karma

Was actually going to buy one, but a new house is more important at this time.


This genuinely made me laugh.

BuckStrickland12 karma

How often does someone pay sticker price? I'd imagine it happens once in a while but no one who pays it will ever admit to it.


I like to call them Hank Hill's but yes they are quite rare. I'd say 1-3 times a month.


god damn it I just now noticed your username. Have an upvote.

Millencolinm312 karma

How accurate is the Invoice Price? Is that really what the dealer paid for the car?


If you purchase a new gutter, the contractor is going to give you an invoice. Is that what you paid for your gutter?

TLinden317 karma

I think maybe he means the sticker price. Meaning, how much lower (relative to the sticker price) should a car buyer expect to be able to go?


MSRP's differ depending on vehicle. On a Sport Mazda 2 their is $250 worth of markup from invoice to msrp. But the amount of dealer cash depends on the time of year you are purchasing. You could have 2-10k off on a single vehicle at a given time

Repoocrba11 karma

Will I get a better deal working over email with someone, or is face to face the way to go?


This could go both ways. But in the More so situation I would say Email.

daedsiluap10 karma

If a family to whom you sell a car defaults on the payments, are you made aware of it? Can you tell right away if someone is going to end up having their car repossessed eventually?


Nope, once the car leaves the lot it is now the finance companies property, I have no information in regards to them making on-time payments.

Menir10 karma

What is the best advice you can give me to get a salesman to reduce the price on a vehicle I am looking to purchase?


Make a fair offer, and if they say no then walk out. I guarantee you will get a call or they will run after you.

coucou2210 karma

Do you make profit if you sell extra warranty on the car ? I bought a used car and the seller was really pushing the 2 year extra warranty. Finally I ended up taking it thinking what the hell if somethings break it will be usefull. Yet everytime I had something to replace on the car it wasn't covered so I think unless the engine exploded not much was covered...



squarl10 karma

So when I start talking about price and negotiating with a lot, 8 out of 10 times they try to get me to sign at the bottom of the price negotiation page, or w/e its called, before going and asking there manager if the price will work.

Is this common practice or is it just my state? Is it legally binding?

Personally I think it's complete bullshit as I’m just talking price and I shouldn’t have to be forced to sign anything until closing a deal. Most places say they want me to sign it just to show that I’m serious, which is actually insulting to me.


Common practice, Not just your state, Not at all legally binding.

All they want is to prove to the managers that they aren't talking out of their ass and making shit up by they I mean your salesperson.

Bonesnapcall8 karma

Is it even worth it to buy a 3 year old car with 60+ thousand miles on it, or should I just by new? I live in Phoenix and people put 20k miles a year on a car easily.


If it has a warranty, clean car-fax, the price is right and your happy with the vehicle then yes.

voneahhh8 karma

So what are your thoughts on that bestof post?


I have many I'd rather not discuss that guy is an idiot and was just barking malarkey off the top of his head having no idea what in the fuck he was talking about. I guess that's what reddit loves?

gjmelenk7 karma

How does commission work for car sales? Is the percentage a flat rate or change on variables? (type/cost of car, new/used, etc)


Both. A lot of dealerships give 20% Front 20% Back. A lot of dealerships do no commission and a flat $300-500 per car you sell.

My dealership does $100 flat + 15% Front and 5% Back once you hit 8 cars. Front is the initial car profit and back is finance charges, and warranties. As you sell more those numbers go up.

welcomeback196 karma

What is the weirdest person or family you encountered?


It's more or less stereotypes.

Asians when purchasing a car bring the family, some lawn chairs, lunch, and they will be their 10 hours and not leave until they get exactly what they want.

Indians, will bring the entire extended family to come shop for a vehicle. They will bring 2 cars worth of people and swamp you. It gets intense.

This isn't for every stereotype here but these are the most common.

TiDoBos5 karma

What do you think of the mazdaspeed6?


God damn they were awesome vehicles. Best part was the amount of passenger room they had and the fact they were AWD.

raffytraffy4 karma

Is leasing a car a good idea?


Excellent Idea if you like to trade into a new car every 3 years. What's not a good idea is putting money down on a lease.

creep_nu4 karma

just how much of a load are cpo's?

do you recommend to people to get a pre-purchase inspection or do you work for a higher pressure sales environment?


CPO's are the way to go if you purchase a used vehicle. most of them have a 7-10 year or 100,000 mile power train warranty & a whole load of other benefits. Not to mention CPO's have to have 2 keys, they have to get a full tank of gas, they have to pass a more detailed inspection than just a normal used vehicle and the price doesn't differ at all.

the_REAL_hOoLiGaN4 karma

Why won't you let me take it for a test drive?


Your Username.

luckytaurus4 karma

If I wanted to spend up to 10,000 on a car, which car would you recommend me and why?


A Honda, Mazda or Toyota. Reliable, Easy to repair & inexpensive to maintain. Not to mention they will run forever and hold a good amount of resale value.

PurplePotamus3 karma

I've been hearing some ads on the radio for this body shop that apparently doesn't report to CarFax, implying that going to this body shop will stay off the record.

Could you explain this horseshit? I thought all repairs had to be reported


No one "Reports" to carfax. They report it to ford or report it to what ever auto manufacturer they are doing a repair on. They also have to report income for irs purposes which in turn means they have to report everything to some sort of accounting and this is how car-fax forms their reports and where they get their information. It's from tens of thousands of sources.

PurplePotamus6 karma

Oh, so they can advertise that they "don't report to CarFax" and make themselves look like a better deal, when in reality, nobody does.




raziphel3 karma

at what point is the gap insurance a good idea vs not a good idea?


Gap insurance is the only thing I purchase when I purchase a new vehicle. It's the one thing I think is always a good idea if financing a vehicle.

BuccaneerRex2 karma

If you had $1000 to spend on a car, how would you go about getting the best deal? Looks aren't important, as long as it gets 1 person around town reliably.


Honda Toyota or Mazda, Buy one on Clist.